At least 18 people have been killed in Uganda, in a battle between police and militia allegedly linked to one of the country’s traditional kings.
Militiamen are reported to have attacked a police post in the western town of Kasese, the home of the King of Rwenzururu, Charles Wesley Mumbere.
Eight militia and two police officers were among the dead.
A Ugandan government spokesman accused the militia of seeking to break away from Uganda.
“These militiamen have set up camps in the Rwenzori mountains from where they train and come to attack government installations,” Shaban Bantariza said.
The King has denied any connections with them. His Bakonzo community on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo has long been at loggerheads with the dominant Toro kingdom in the region.
Years of clashes ended in 1982 with an agreement for more local autonomy and President Yoweri Museveni officially recognised the kingdom in 2009, but tensions have continued to simmer.
Between February and March this year, more than 50 people were killed in clashes between security forces and rebels, according to police figures.